I loved this question and I think it’s something that a lot of people struggle with.
A good shot should of course include expensive things, right ?
Well actually not……
As you can see in the first image it can be very cheap and easy. In this case just a simple plastic material that is torn by the model (after she used it for some shots in front and behind it, in other words even with the cheapest material optimize the amount of shots you get out of it.
The best and most exciting shots are done (well at least for me) on location.
Use the location as a big prop, and do remember you can make a good shot in almost every location, don’t think it has to be an expensive hotel room, or a big church with stained window, the best locations are close to your home or maybe even in your home. I already did a blog post about this so I will not go into that too much, but for example when you go to a car junkyard you can shoot for days on end without running out of ideas.
Second hand stores
Make friends with your local dump/second hand stores.
They are a very large source for small things (or larger things) you can use, and if you have a good deal you could probably bring stuff back after the shoot or exchange it for something new after a while. This way you can buy awesome stuff for prices that vary between 0-100 dollar/euros.
One of my favorite chairs for example I got for free from our local second hand store, according to them it was beyond repair but because I wanted it I could take it with me for free, and to be honest this is the kind of stuff we want 😀
Don’t shy away from materials. Without a doubt materials are a very important tool to spice up a shoot or work with when you’re out of ideas, or have a model with an imperfect skin 😀 often people will have some curtains etc. in the attic you can borrow and keep for your shoots. In our studio we have a large cupboard filled with cloths from different materials/colors etc. It’s great to work with and again it sometimes really opens up the creativity.
Markets or trash
Well ok I never go through other peoples trash, but you can find some funny stuff on markets.
The following shots were done with props the models brought with them or are bought by me at dump stores. And as you can see I even use my own cameras.
Creativity is something that is hard to learn.
Seeing options every where and in anything must be something that you train, and it will never stop so be prepared. I always say “It’s never quiet in my head” with this I don’t mean I hear voices of course but that I’m so aimed at seeing options to shoot that I see those options every where, and even than I’m often out of ideas, but it only takes a little prop the model brings with her to build the concept around that….. and that last sentence is VERY important.
There has to be a concept !!!
It has no use to just shoot a model holding a prop, make sure that the prop makes the story. If you follow that guideline you will love the effects you can get from your buck. And really often you can have loads of fun for 10.00 $ accessories. Everything you have seen above is often below that price.
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